Labor 2022 Election Results
AFL-CIO’s statewide candidates run the table
Walz, Ellison, Simon, Blaha
Governor Tim Walz addressed a Get-Out-The-Vote rally at the United Labor Centre on the night before the November 8 election. See more photos from this event.
Adapted from the Minneapolis Labor Review, November 19, 2022
By Steve Share, Minneapolis Labor Review editor
SAINT PAUL — Although pre-election opinion polls left the outcomes uncertain, all four of the Minnesota AFL-CIO’s endorsed candidates for statewide office won re-election November 8: Governor Tim Walz, Attorney General Keith Ellison, Secretary of State Steve Simon, and State Auditor Julie Blaha. All four also were endorsed by the DFL Party.
Along with these wins, labor-friendly majorities also won in both the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate (see story).
With labor partners controlling both the executive branch and both houses of the legislature, “working Minnesotans have a historic opportunity to rein in corporate power and truly level the playing field in our state,” commented Bernie Burnham, Minnesota AFL-CIO president.
Denise Specht, president of Education Minnesota, said: “Minnesotans voted for a vision of Minnesota in which everyone has the freedom to send their children to fully funded public schools, no matter their race or ZIP code… Today, the mandate is clear for the governor and the leadership of the House and Senate to come together and pass the multi-billion-dollar investment in public schools needed to provide every student with the personal attention from their educators, a healthy learning environment and access to world-class educators in every classroom.”
Joe Fowler, president of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council, congratulated the winning statewide candidates, the legislative majorities, and the Minnesota DFL for their “resounding victories.”
Fowler added: “While we have friends of organized labor on both sides of the aisle, many who won and some who were defeated, we remain committed to working with our elected officials to continue to build and grow a strong middle class in Minnesota. Our members stand ready to support you in your efforts to implement the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. We will help you ensure that workplaces are safe for workers by supporting the Safe and Skilled Workforce Act. We will be there with you as you stand up for working men and women.”
Jaime Gulley, president of the SEIU Minnesota State Council, noted that Walz, Ellison, Simon and Blaha as well as the new legislative majorities all ran on platforms advocating for policies to benefit working families.
“We are excited to partner with a strong, pro-worker House and Senate to send bills to Governor Walz’s desk that will help us build a Minnesota where we respect, protect and pay frontline workers,” said Gulley, who also serves as president of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota & Iowa.
“We’re proud of the millions of conversations our members had to elect pro-worker candidates and look forward to our upcoming legislative session,” Gulley added.
Like SEIU, other unions including AFSCME, Education Minnesota, the Building Trades, and the Minnesota Nurses Association as well as the Minnesota AFL-CIO and the state’s regional labor federations all mobilized union volunteers and waged extensive union member-to-union member outreach on behalf of labor-endorsed candidates.
On the morning of election day, before results were known, AFSCME Council 5 executive director Julie Blyehl commented: “From the start, we said this would be a very tough election and one that every person would need to participate in. Everything from racial, economic, and social justice, to our right to even exist as a union, to the freedom to live our own lives, and our democracy — are all on the ballot.”
“The 2022 election showed that no matter where we live or what we look like, union members can make change when we join together in common purpose,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO president Burnham.
“Over the course of 13 weeks, Labor 2022 campaign volunteers had tens of thousands of conversations with their fellow union members at the doors, on the phones, at the worksite, and online about the importance of electing Labor-endorsed candidates up and down the ballot,” Burnham said.
On election night, Governor Walz proclaimed his commitment to keeping Minnesota a “union state,” Burnham noted. “Over the next two years and beyond, working people are going to show what a union state looks like.”
Congressional races: Angie Craig re-elected
In other notable election results, AFL-CIO endorsed Angie Craig won re-election with nearly 51 percent of the vote to represent Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, a battleground race that drew national attention. The Second District lies just south of the Twin Cities urban core and extends from just north of Mankato to Hastings, bordered by the Minnesota River on the north and the Mississippi River on the east.
In Minneapolis and west metro suburbs, AFL-CIO endorsed Ilhan Omar easily won re-election with 74 percent of the vote in the Fifth Congressional District.
In St. Paul and east metro suburbs, AFL-CIO endorsed Betty McCollum also easily won re-election with nearly 68 percent of the vote in the Fourth Congressional District.
AFL-CIO endorsed Dean Phillips won re-election in the west metro Third Congressional District with nearly 60 percent of the vote.